Ranchi: Chennai Super Kings' skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants his bowlers to improve performance in death overs even as he lauded his spinners and batsmen after qualifying for the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20).
CSK bowlers conceded 50 runs in the last three overs to let Brisbane Heat off the hook. "Death bowling is still an area we need to improve, but it is tough for every team. We thought we would be chasing 120-odd runs, but the chase was very well done with the help of Raina, Hussey and Vijay," Dhoni said after they beat Brisbane by eight wickets.
"I think Jadeja will keep improving the more games he plays. Ashwin is one of the smarter spinners we have; Raina knows what needs to be done," he added. "I think it was a very good performance. For the spinners there was a fair amount of dew; it gripped a bit for them but they bowled superb lengths."
Man-of-the-Match Michael Hussey, who scored unbeaten 57, said Ashwin deserved the award. "I'm a bit embarrassed to be here actually; I thought Ashwin was a good shout for Man of the Match. The spinners did a great job. Excellent conditions here; I've really enjoyed the stadium and the crowds as well. To get through to the semi-finals was the first goal, and it is great to be there," he said.
Opener Murali Vijay said it is always good experience to bat alongside Hussey, with whom he shared a 75-run stand for the first wicket in CSK chase. "There was good bounce in the wicket and dew around. I just wanted to time the ball rather than hit it. I'm trying to learn as much as I can from Hussey. We are playing good cricket at the moment," he said.
As Brisbane are knocked out of the tournament, their skipper James Hopes said the event has served them as an eye-opener. "We lost our way in the middle of the innings; the batsmen haven't done the job again. We had made 50-odd in six overs that usually sets you up for 160. It's a steep learning curve to be here and a bit of an eye-opener. We can play with a great deal of freedom in the final game," Hopes said.